How Non Stick Pan Works?

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skillet-frying-pan

We will learn how non stick pan keeps what you’re cooking from sticking.

Nonstick pans are expected to last from 3 to 5 years with normal use. It also depends on how often the pan is used, the types of cooking done with the pan and the utensils used on the pan can all affect the lifespan of nonstick pan.

The nonstick technology discovery was not deliberate. It began with research on refrigerator. Once, at Kinetic Chemicals plant, research was underway for a less toxic chemical to use as a new refrigerant.An Ohio-born scientist, Roy Plunkett was part of this research team. In 1938, he set up a mixture meant to produce tetrafluoroethylene gas and left it overnight. The next morning, he found a white, waxy substance in place of the gas he had expected. After analysis, the new substance was found to be polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, and was quickly recognized as an exceptionally slippery substance. The chemical was patented in1941. Du pont trademarked this substance as Teflon in 1945.

For us to understand why PTFE is a useful nonstick coating, we must study at its structure and properties. PTFE is a type of fluoropolymer. A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecules of the same type. Fluoropolymers are the key atoms to many of the unique characteristics of PTFE. Notably, fluorine’s electron atoms are stable but stubborn. The structure do not share its electrons with other atoms easily.

Marc Gregoire, a French engineer, discovered a technique t­o bond PTFE to aluminum that the first nonstick cookware was created. In 1956, they founded the Tefal Corporation. FDA, USA approved PTFE for food processing equipment in 1960. With this approval, Tefal, known as T-fal in the U.S., began selling its pans in the United States. Other manufacturers soon joined the market.

Think about a high school dance. Assume fluorine as warden, and the carbon atoms are the female students. Anything that might interact with the carbon is the male students. Fluorine atoms acting as warden keep the boys from interacting with the girls — in a frying pan, it keeps the food from sticking.

PTFE insulates high-voltage wires. Yet these characteristics also pose challenges when it comes to creating nonstick cookware. The nonstick coating must somehow stick to the surface of the pan.

While cleaning nonstick pan require warm, soapy water. Too much hard scrubbing will damage the coating. Harsh abrasives and rough cleaning pads are not recommended.

To prevent scuffs and scratches on the nonstick surface on a pan, utensils made of wood, plastic or coated materials are the best choices. It’s also a good idea to store the pan in a cabinet or area where it won’t get scratched

There are many variations of the process to meld the nonstick coating onto the cookware’s metal surface. Normally, they do it with metal base, or substrate, which is created in the shape of the desired cookware. Most nonstick cookware is made of aluminum, but other metals, such as stainless steel, are also used.

The next step is to apply the nonstick coating to the pan substrate. 

Let’s go back to the example of the dance. The chaperones keep the female students from interacting with the male students. To distract the chaperone, a male student might enlist a friend to create a disturbance on the other side of the room, causing all the chaperones to move in that direction. Another tactic might be to build some common ground among the chaperones and students by playing some music from the chaperones’ era and getting everyone onto the dance floor together. Either way, the male dancers have a chance to dance with the females.

When making nonstick cookware, the manufacturing version of the male students’ disturbance starts with roughening the surface of the substrate. This allow PTFE’s fluorine molecules to stick to the surface easily. Some methods include roughing the surface with molten metal or chemicals [source: Wolke, Funderburg].

The common ground is a primer or base coat, which has a special formulation that allows it to adhere to both the metal substrate and several nonstick coating layers. Usually PTFE-based coatings, are either sprayed or rolled onto the surface, depending upon on the type of pan.

According to Raiford, this process can include heating between each layer, or the layers can be put on top of each other while they are still wet. The final step is sintering. “Sintering means baking in high temperature usually at around 800 degrees Fahrenheit for about three to five minutes,” This process dries and cures the polymer and also helps to lock it to the metal.”

This final smooth surface keeps foods like eggs and meatloaf from sticking to pans